Susan Mellen Returns to Court

Mellen files Petition for Factual Innocence

Press Release

SUSAN MELLEN TO RETURN TO JUDGE MARK ARNOLD’S COURT (DEPT. G) AT THE TORRANCE COURTHOUSE AT 8:30 A.M. ON OCTOBER 24, 2014

TORRANCE, CA. – On Friday, October 24, 2014, Susan Mellen will walk back into Judge Arnold’s court seeking a favorable ruling on her Petition for Finding of Factual Innocence filed by Innocence Matters on Wednesday, October 15.

On September 18, 2014, Innocence Matters filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and asserted Ms. Mellen was wrongfully convicted on the word of a habitual liar, whose notorious reputation among law enforcement for deception and repeated filings of false accusations was concealed from the defense.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office conceded the merits of the petition and joined in the request for the court to vacate Ms. Mellen’s conviction, dismiss the case against her, and release her immediately.  On October 10, Judge Mark Arnold found Ms. Mellen had been convicted on false evidence and he expressed his belief that “not only is Ms. Mellen not guilty, I believe, based on what I’ve read, she’s innocent.”  Judge Arnold carefully monitored the prison’s processing of Ms. Mellen’s release to make certain prison bureaucracy did not cause further delay.

At this next court date, Ms. Mellen needs to show that she is more likely than not innocent.  Given the complete absence of any credible evidence implicating Ms. Mellen and the considerable evidence pointing to her innocence, Ms. Mellen in poised to prevail on Friday.

A formal finding of factual innocence would pave the way for Ms. Mellen to receive the modest statutory compensation of $100 for each day she was wrongfully imprisoned for a crime she did not commit, pursuant to Penal Code section 4900.

Although not nearly enough to pay for the tremendous loss and suffering Ms. Mellen and her children have endured during Ms. Mellen’s 17-year incarceration, a ruling in her favor will give this 59-year-old, unemployed, and penniless woman the ability to begin the process of rebuilding her life from scratch.

Since her release, Ms. Mellen has been staying with her oldest daughter and son-in-law, and their two children in a small two-bedroom apartment.  With space at a premium, Ms. Mellen has no room of her own and instead uses the sofa-sleeper in the living room as her bed.

More information about Ms. Mellen’s case is available at http://www.innocencematters.org.

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